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Teak Tectona grandis

FAMOUSLY DURABLE MARINE CLASSIC
Darker and more oily than afrormosia (Pericopsis elata), teak has for centuries been the first-choice species for boat building and other marine uses, and numerous pieces of garden furniture are made from the wood. Exploitation has eventually led to the development of plantations in some Asian countries, though many imitations are used as substitutes for this most durable of species.

KEY CHARACTERISTICS
Type Tropical hardwood
Alternatives Tuart (Eucalyptus gomphocephala)
Sources Mainly Southeast Asia, but also some growth in the Caribbean and West Africa
Color Golder honey-brown, with darker streaks. The color darkens when exposed to light.
Texture Medium coarse, with a tendency toward unevenness
Grain Straight or wavy
Hardness Hard
Weight Medium to heavy (40 lb./cu. ft.) (640 kg/cu. m)
Strength For its weight, teak is pretty strong and it can be bent, but it can also be brittle.
Seasoning and stability Seasons slowly but well, and is stable once dry.
Wastage Low
Range of board widths Good
Range of board thicknesses Good
Durability Excellent

VARIATIONS
Some woodworkers believe old-growth teak to be of higher quality than plantation-grown lumber.

SUSTAINABILITY
Environmentally conscious woodworkers prefer to buy either plantation teak or teak from a certified source, though it is not listed as endangered.

AVAILABILITY AND COST

Expensive and now largely available only from plantations.